Singing Bird Box Flies Out of the Saleroom

 

On Monday 2nd April bidders found themselves serenaded by an aerial automaton, as a delightful singing bird box, designed and manufactured by Karl Griesbaum, went up for auction (lot 286).

 

 

The bird itself was housed beneath a pierced filigree grille and controlled by an intricate mechanism - operated by a sliding bird-shaped catch to the front - which allowed the bird to flap its wings, rotate and sing.

 

 

Singing bird boxes were first produced in Geneva around 1770, early examples of which contained pipes similar to church organs. By 1785, adverts for these boxes were appearing in English publications, and during the 19th Century it was considered a sign of high status for young men of means to return from the ‘Grand Tour’ complete with these musical souvenirs.

 

 

This fascinating piece certainly had bidders in a flutter, and sold for £2,900 under the hammer.

 

 

You can view this lot as a video highlight by clicking here.

 

Twitter Feed